Spring is a time for training. Whether you’re teaching a pup to “Kennel” or fine-tuning a proven performer, longer days and warming weather provide the perfect opportunity to get out and work with your dog. Just ask any handler: Investing in proper training will pay dividends in the long run. It’s time and effort well spent. Investing in proper gear will pay off, too, and these training tools are worth considering.
DAKOTA HERO KENNEL
For those with aggressive dogs or who are looking for added protection for their canine companions, the Dakota Hero Kennel offers the ultimate in safety. Featuring one-piece rotomolded construction, the kennel has a stainless-steel door and piano hinge; a lockable, keyed paddle latch; and stainless button-lock hatches for extra security. Holes in the sides and rear provide ample ventilation, and the mesh on the door is small enough that most dogs can’t chew through it. Handles on each side allow for easy transport or tie-down straps, and there is a drainage hole for easy cleaning.
Exterior dimensions: 40.25” (l) x 26” (w) x 30.1” (h).
Weight: 54 pounds.
Colors: Dark Granite (shown) or Coyote Granite.
GARMIN ALPHA 200i
Hunters familiar with Garmin’s Alpha 100 tracking and training system will appreciate the next generation of this innovative collar combo: the Alpha 200i. Featuring enhanced mapping capabilities, a larger 3.5” sunlight-readable touchscreen and a user-friendly six-button design, the handheld can be customized for select tracking and training functions as well as preferred field applications. Perhaps the most significant upgrade is the addition of inReach, a satellite technology that allows for two-way messaging and interactive SOS alerts (with a satellite subscription). The handheld can operate without inReach—and in fact is so advanced in terms of satellite support and mapping systems that it can be used as a standalone GPS unit. The 200i has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities and is available bundled with a T 5 or TT 15 collar.
Price: handheld only, $750; T 5 bundle, $950; TT 15 bundle, $1,000.
RIG’EM RIGHT FIELD
BULLY DOG BLIND
For keeping dogs protected and concealed, the Rig’Em Right Field Bully Dog Blind is an easy-to-operate, sensible solution. Made of 600D polyester, the blind has a triangular profile that virtually disappears in the field and has slots for adding vegetation. The Bullycoil frame system sets up in seconds and compresses flat for storage, and built-in tent stakes store in integrated pockets. Front and rear peephole openings allow your dog to watch the action, while a removable floor pad offers protection from the cold ground.
Open dimensions: 34″ (l) x 23″ (w) x 19″ (h). Color: Gore Optifade Marsh.
GUNNER FOOD CRATE
Well known for producing kennels that
protect dogs, Gunner now offers a crate that protects dogs’ food. The Gunner Food Crate features rotomolded construction and a nylon lid, and an airtight thermoplastic rubber gasket seals out moisture, dust and UV light and seals in odor (to avoid attracting insects and rodents). A central handle makes for easy carrying and pouring from the wide mouth. The substantial base keeps the crate from tipping over, and rubber feet prevent it from slipping and keep it elevated. A latch with a stainless-steel locking pin protects contents from pests like raccoons. The Food Crate has an 11.5-gallon capacity and will hold 50 pounds of dry dog food.
Exterior dimensions: 23.75” (l) x 13.2” (w) x 17.5” (h).
Weight: 10.5 pounds.
Colors: Tan and Gunmetal.
MUD RIVER SPLIT HAMMOCK SEAT COVER
What’s worse than a dirty dog? One that jumps into your newly cleaned vehicle. So to save your seats from being soiled, there is the Mud River Split Hammock Seat Cover. Made of a nylon/poly pique fabric with quilted batting, the machine-washable cover has adjustable headrest straps along with adjustable straps for the back and bottom of the rear seat. It also unzips for seatbelt access or to act as a cover for a single seat.
Dimensions: 68″ (l) x 56″ (w).
Colors: Taupe or Black.
EUKANUBA ACTIVTRAINERS & ACTIVEMOBILITY TREATS
For rewarding behavior while keeping your dog healthy, Eukanuba nutritionists have developed two lines of training treats. ACTIVTrainers are low-calorie treats containing DHA, a fatty acid that supports neural development in puppies at least two months old and healthy brain function in older dogs. They are available in chicken or salmon flavors and are semi-moist for easier digestion. ACTIVMobility treats are low in calories and fortified with nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, to protect against cartilage degeneration and support joint health. The semi-moist treats are meant for dogs at least one year old.
Price: ACTIVTrainers 5-oz chicken or salmon, $7; 8-oz chicken, $10; ACTIVMobility 5-oz chicken, $7.